Archive for October 6, 2010

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

(I don’t think we talk about video games enough in class probably because they are such a new form of media. So here’s my take on a recent development.)

This week is the release date of Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, a game by Ninja Theory, aka the studio that brought us Heavenly Sword.

What is interesting about this game is that it’s based on Journey to the West, a classical Chinese novel. This game is receiving quite a bit of attention for this, which is interesting because I’m sure if this game was instead based on a classical Western novel there would be less attention. (Apparently all the magic has been replaced by technology since it’s set in the near future after an apocalyptic event.)

I found it interesting that in the developer interviews for this game that one of the lead developers was surprised to learn that the Monkey King story is essentially part of a Chinese classical novel. I guess even with famous works like Dragon Ball and Saiyuki most people don’t know Eastern legends/works of art. (Or maybe most people just don’t know ancient legends/works of arts at all?)

The game is actually getting good reviews: 80 on Metacritic and 82% on Game Rankings.

It’s will be interesting to see how well it sells; if it sells well we could see more “Western” (Ninja Theory is European) developers making games based on “Eastern” tales. I’d like to see that as I’m tired of games always using Judeo-Christian legends or Classical Grecco-Roman mythology. I’m also tired of Japanese developer’s seeming obsession with Norse mythology.

We will be seeing another game based on “Eastern Mythology” sometime in the near future: Asura’s Wrath (video trailer below)

http://www.viddler.com/simple/a595233/

-Written and Posted by Jonathan Soon

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October 6, 2010 at 8:02 pm Leave a comment


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